Recently, Erendira Cruz, director of the Sustainable Living Center, wrote an article about local sustainable projects including residential solar panel installation incentives. As a solar owner, I want to make sure that you are aware of two important benefits currently available. The first, the 30 percent federal tax credit, decreases to 26 percent next year, 22 percent the following year, then goes away completely for residential installations.
The second benefit is that the Sustainable Living Center has a limited fund of money to help pay for residential projects in the Walla Walla Valley. If accepted, the Sustainable Living Center will pay 50 cents per installed watt, up to a total of $3,000 for a 6,000-watt system.
Since systems are now costing less than $3 per installed watt this is at least a 16 percent benefit. I currently pay $10.48 per month for the power that runs my all electric house and my plug in hybrid car. I have, in effect, prepaid for clean, renewable power that, according to Zillow, also adds about 4.1 percent to my home’s value.
If you’re considering the solar option, this might be a good time to proceed before the incentives disappear.